Banana pudding is such a great make-ahead dessert for the summer that I thought….why not turn this Southern classic into a Banana Pudding CAKE!!!
Let me tell you….this Banana Pudding Cake is one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. And it maybe even a little easier than the banana pudding itself.
Yes, of course, you need to turn on the oven but it’s really not that big of a deal because I used a box cake mix so this recipe is totally no fuss.
What is Banana Pudding?
Classic Banana Pudding is a southern dessert consisting of layers of sweet banana or vanilla flavored custard, crushed cookies and sliced bananas topped with whipped cream (find our favorite banana pudding recipe here). It’s usually served in a baking dish and pops up mostly in the summer months as a no bake dessert.
I really wanted to make sure the flavor of a classic banana pudding recipe was deep in the cake so I turned this into a Banana Pudding Poke Cake! That allowed the banana pudding to sink deep into the holes and turn the cake into moist, banana-y heaven.
What is a Poke Cake? And How Do You Make a Banana Pudding Cake?
A poke cake is exactly how it sounds…..a baked cake that you poke holes into after baking. The holes are then filled with a custard, jello or pudding mixture which is poured over the cake while it’s still warm. This allows the flavors to infuse the cake and keeps it moist.
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs + 2 egg whites
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- One 1.34oz box instant, sugar-free banana pudding mix
- 1 cup milk
- Filling: Whisk together the following ingredients and refrigerate until assembling cake (~10minutes).
- One 1.34oz box instant, sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
- 1 1/4 cups skim milk
- 1 cup Cool Whip (or whipped cream)
- To brush on layers: Mix together the following:
- 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp skim milk
- You’ll also need:
- 2-3 medium ripe bananas
- 3-4 cups Cool Whip for frosting
Step 1: Make the cake Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep three 8″ round pans by lining the bottom only with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs and egg whites, one at a time. Beat in vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and pudding mix. Add into wet ingredients in three separate additions, mixing until just combined. Don’t over mix! Stir in milk until combined. Divide batter and pour into pans. Bake 22-25 minutes or until cake is golden and begins to pull away from sides of pans. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan. Loosen and remove from pan. Allow to cool another 1-2 hours on a wire rack.
Step 2: Begin layering Level each cake. Place first layer on cake plate. Brush with a little milk mixture. Line banana slices on top of cake. Spread 1/3-1/2 of the filling mix on top of bananas. Place next cake layer on top of filling. Repeat with milk mix, filling, and final layer.
Step 3: Frost This is the fun part. Frost with Cool Whip and decorate as you wish. I crushed some mini Nilla wafers and spread on top. Then used the wafers along the sides. Whew! Sounds super complicated, but it was simple to make. You may also want to put some Nilla wafers in between the layers. You know, if you’re feeling extra fancy and decadent. Very important!!: Store this cake in the fridge!! Lots of perishable ingredients. You’ve been warned, so I’m off the hook if you don’t refrigerate and get sick. This may be a new family favorite. It’s definitely not a “good for you” cake, but this was a very special occasion. Everyone loved it, too! My nieces especially enjoyed picking off and eating the Nilla wafers.